Cricketers prepare to celebrate a century of Grinsted Cup

The historic Grinsted Cup, with the figure of the renowned English cricket WG Grace on top.
The historic Grinsted Cup, with the figure of the renowned English cricket WG Grace on top.

It's 100 years since EJ Grinsted established the Forbes Challenge Cup, and the district's cricket community is welcome to gather to celebrate the milestone and reminisce about some great sport.

Forbes is hosting a reunion dinner, with special guest speakers including former Australian fast bowler Rodney Hogg and former Australian rugby league representative Chris Anderson, who also played Grinsted Cup cricket.

ABC sports commentator Geoff Mann will take the microphone to lead conversations with both guests.

It's believed the Forbes Challenge Cup donated by EJ Grinsted is the oldest continuously-contested cricket cup at least in country NSW - and there are some incredible stories in its rich history.

Parkes' Michael Greenwood OAM compiled a book on the early decades of the competition and it speaks of the Challenge's origins.

It began at a meeting of the Forbes Cricket Club on August 11, 1919.

"That meeting announced that Mr Edward John Grinsted had promised to donate a trophy for the coming season under conditions to be determined by the club," the book begins.

Mr Grinsted, the operator of a newsagency and sporting goods shop in Lachlan Street, formally presented the cup in October that year - as a means of generating increased interest in cricket in the area.

The first game was held between Forbes and Half-Holiday, and was comprehensively won by Forbes.

In the coming years, challenges would be made by Parkes, Cowra, Young, Orange, Condobolin and West Wyalong as well as many of the smaller communities in the region.

These included Quandialla, Caragabal, Wirrinya, Gooloogon , Eugowra, Lyndhurst, Bogan Gate, Trundle and Peak Hill.

Over the decades, different towns have risen to prominence and dominated the competition.

Cowra holds the record for defending the highest number of challenges: 23 in the late 1990s into the 2000s.

Parkes is just one behind on 22, beaten by Orange on their 23rd challenge.

Forbes held the Cup for 14 challenges in the 1980s, and Condobolin 16 challenges in the early 1980s.

More on some of the competition's outstanding figures as the date approaches.

The centenary dinner is $60 a head and bookings by January 31 are essential.

Phone Ross Williams on 0428 531 123 or Allan Rees on 0499 700 658.

The night will also feature an auction with memorabilia including a cricket bat signed by the Australian team and one signed by the Thunder Big Bash League team, plus more.

The weekend will feature an exhibition match with eastern teams taking on western on the local field.

Western will include players from Forbes, Parkes, Condobolin, Trundle and West Wyalong, Eastern from Cowra, Young, Grenfell, Molong and Canowindra.